Everyday Cooking

Couscous with Asparagus, Chervil + White Wine

April 30, 2013

Every week, Caroline Wright will be creating simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: Couscous cooked risotto-style, for a springy supper without the wait.

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This couscous recipe is a poor man’s risotto — an apt, if even paradoxical descriptor — that focuses on the cozy side of green, spring flavor. Israeli (or “pearl”) couscous is a lentil-sized pasta with an equally diminutive cooking time, so it cooks quickly in the reducing stock. Finished with salty cheese and the delicate licorice-flavored chervil, this recipe brings a bowl of yielding, soft flavors and textures of spring.

Couscous with Asparagus, Chervil + White Wine

4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Israeli or pearl couscous
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
12 ounces asparagus (3/4 bunch), trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino
1/2 cup chopped pistachios, toasted if desired
1/4 cup roughly chopped chervil leaves

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.


As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that’s being published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.

Photos by Caroline Wright

Read More:
Dinner Tonight: Seared Scallops + Roasted Fennel Couscous
Herbed Tuna and Israeli Couscous Salad with Cumin, Coriander and Citrus
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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Mark Campidonica
    Mark Campidonica
  • hardlikearmour
  • kyliefmcd
Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter.


Mark C. May 2, 2013
I put a half a teaspoon of fennel seed in at the beginning of the broth reduction steps.
hardlikearmour April 30, 2013
I love chervil, but it is close to impossible to find even at farmer's markets. What would you suggest as a substitute?
kyliefmcd May 1, 2013
Maybe try tarragon or fennel fronds?